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Croydon Vision

The working name of Croydon Voluntary Association for the Blind

July Newsletter 

You said it  -  and the

menus are back


First Word  -   by Keith Bill, chief executive
I AM ALWAYS urging those of us with sight loss to speak out.  Well, after our last edition of Croydon Vision News, you certainly did speak out  -  telling me that I was wrong to drop the lunch club menus from the newsletter.
Although members could get a weekly list in the Talking Newspaper’s magazine section, they also like to see the month ahead, I was told.  So there you are: the menus are back again ( see pages 8 and 9 ).
Talking about speaking out, we have now lodged our objection to bicycles being ridden up and down the North End pedestrian area between the shops in central Croydon.
The bikes now have the right to cycle each way between what was Allders and the tramlines, but our objection, with any others, will be considered and within the next six months a decision could be made to stop the bikes, which make so many of our members nervous.
Some won’t risk walking in this area now, which is a great shame because they cannot get to many of the shops.  Two of our members have actually been hit by bikes.
Finally, back to the lunch club menus.  If you would ever like a fish dish alternative to a meal on a menu, please tell Karen or one of the volunteers on reception at least one day in advance.
Keith Bill  @  07968 528 527

Who’s for an


AUGUST is the month when some members of Croydon Vision take the chance to go on an outing, and one that  they have organised themselves.
We know about a couple of these events, but we are wondering if others would like to plan their own day out.

The two already settled are on August 18, when Claire’s Tuesday morning group will be visiting a farm; and on August 24 Sue Ardley’s Tuesday afternoon group are off to The Grange at Beddington Park.
But there are several other dates available for this month when members could go out.  Among the ideas are going to Woodcote Garden Centre; or to the White Hart at Godstone for lunch; or to McDermott’s, the award-winning fish and chip shop at Forestdale.
If you fancy any of these, or want to make your own suggestion, organise your group and book the date with Mike.  Larger groups, up to 20 people, can go on a Tuesday or Thursday; and smaller groups, up to 13, on Monday or Wednesday.


Happy geraniums

THIS YEAR’S Geranium Day proved another success for Croydon Vision.  On that special day we raised £758.76, a pretty good total reached by our bands of collectors.
Well done to everyone involved.  And thank you.

Now ‘read’ your


EVER wanted help reading letters, bank statements and so on?  Well, if there is no one around to read to you, or if you want to keep something private, you can now bring your documents to our centre where Katharine, our IT tutor, and Karen have set up two types of reading machines.
The first is the Reader, of which there are two, and you simply place your document on a plate and move around a camera which enlarges what it sees on to a TV screen.  Easy to use.
The second type is a piece of equipment which will actually read your document for you.  Again, just place it down and after a few seconds the machine will read the text aloud.
If you would like to be shown how to use the equipment, just ask Karen or a volunteer at Reception.  Another valuable facility at Bedford Hall !

Care for a call ?

CROYDON VISION has a Care Line service for all members who request it, and we are looking to expand this service.
Would you, or anyone you know, appreciate a regular chat on the phone with one of our three Care Line volunteers, Pat Jaques, Kath Periera and Sheelagh Schokman?
Perhaps you can’t get to Bedford Hall so often now, or your health has made it hard for you to get out, but you would like a chat every month or two.  Just talk to Karen or one of our volunteers at Reception, and you can be added to our Care Line family.

Be wary of this

doorstep thief

ONE OF our most notable members, George Oliver, had a frightening experience on his doorstep  -  and Croydon police are urging everyone to be warned.
George was leaving his home when on his doorstep appeared a man who thrust a box of knives into his arms.  He was trying to sell them.
“But I don’t need knives,” George protested.  Whereupon the man pushed another box on to him, saying that he must have relatives who could use them.
George protested again, and twice more the man pushed boxes into George’s arms. By now George was burdened by four boxes of the knives, and the man said George could keep all four if he gave him ‘a drink’.
To get rid of the man, George pulled out his wallet  -  and the man snatched it and ran off.  George lost £60.
He went back indoors and called the police who reacted promptly, and they are now warning others to beware.  The search for the man, who is believed to have accomplices, continues.

Finding your feet success

CROYDON VISION linked up with the council’s sensory impairment team and the charity Thomas Polkington Trust to put together  a “Finding Your Feet” two-day course for those wanting to know more about the type of help you can get when you lose sight.
The course was a great success.  Experts came to speak on specific topics, every place was taken, and participants said how valuable it was.

Dates for July

­*      Low vision service is at Bedford Hall on some
      Thursday mornings between 9.30am and 12.30pm.
      It is an important service when you can come
      along and receive advocacy and expert advice.
*     This month’s dates with Fiona Hazell are on  
      Thursday, July 9, and Thursday, July 30. 
      Everyone is welcome.  This is a free consultation,
      but please book first. 
­*    The hearing surgery is scheduled to be here next on
      two dates later in the year  -  Wednesday, October
      14, and Tuesday, October 20.  But remember, if
      you should need Croydon Hearing at any time, you
      can always contact the service at 020 8686 0049.
­*     Joseph the hairdresser will next be here on  
      Thursday, July 30, as usual from 10am.  But
       please book first.
­ *      The chiropodist Joy Dell will next be at Bedford Hall
       on Wednesday, July 22.
­ *      The technology classes with the IT tutor Katherine
       Turner are held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and  
       Thursdays.  All lessons must be booked through
       the office.
­*      The next meeting of the Macular Group will be at  
       Bedford Hall on Monday, July 13, at 1pm. 
­ *     The next meeting of the Croydon Glaucoma Group
       will be on Monday, August 3, at 1.30pm.


We regret to report the death of Mr Tom Hines.

Awareness week

is a success
A BUSY GIRL, Regan Ruther.  She worked tirelessly promoting glaucoma awareness week last month.
She began on the Sunday before, joining a local church on a health awareness weekend.  Then on the Monday she was at Bedford Hall for a fun and imaginative prize draw, an Optelec demonstration of low vision aids, with Fiona Hazell on hand offering advice and support.  Plus (yummy!) sandwiches!
On the Tuesday and Wednesday there was free coffee and cake in the coffee lounge and information about the international glaucoma association and their research programmes.
On Thursday the eye clinic informed people about drops, their effects, why they need to be taken and how they should be taken.  There was a demonstration of all the different applicators and how they make life easier.
So to Friday, when Gwynneth and Regan were at the eye clinic all day informing people attending and their relatives about glaucoma, and of the support that is available.
Somehow Regan organised and took part in all the activities -  and still went to her day job!

. . . and there’s AMD week

TWO information days about macular degeneration are planned for the July 6 week, organised by Ruther.  On Tuesday, July 7, a session with coffee and cake and information, in the coffee lounge. Then on July 8 you can hear about AMD information and nutrition.  And the next AMD meeting at Bedford Hall is on Monday, July 13.

Menus for


Tues       29    Roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast
June       30    potatoes, green beans, swede  --      
                       peaches & ice cream
Wed        1    Chicken pie, new potatoes, cabbage,
                      carrots  --  pears & custard
Thurs      2    Meatloaf, new potatoes, broccoli, peas 
                       --  fruit flan & cream
Tues       7    Lamb grills, new potatoes, cauliflower,
                      carrots  --  apple pie & ice cream
Wed        8    Fish, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables
                      --  rice pudding & cream
Thurs      9    Sausages, onions, mushrooms, new
                      potatoes, peas  --  gateau & cream
Tues      14   Cottage pie, green beans, peas  --  Swiss roll
                      & Instant Whip
Wed       15   Gammon, new potatoes, tomatoes, beetroot,
                      coleslaw  --  cheesecake & cream
Thurs     16   Roast lamb, roast potatoes, broccoli, carrots
                       --  fruit jelly & ice cream
Tues      21   Battered fish, potatoes, cauliflower, peas -- 
                      peaches & cream
Wed       22   Italian chicken, potatoes, broccoli, carrots
                      --  gateau
Thurs     23   Roast turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes,
                      broccoli, swede  --  rice pudding & apple
Tues      28   Roast pork, stuffing, roast potatoes, green
                      beans, peas  --  peaches & cream
Wed       29   Sausages, onions, mushrooms, potatoes,
                      mixed vegetables  --  lemon meringue pie &
Thurs     30   Meatballs, mashed potatoes, cabbage,  
                      swede   --  fruit flan & Dream Topping

New Addington menus

Thurs       2      Roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast
                         potatoes, green beans, carrots  -- 
                         pears & ice cream
Thurs       9      Quiche, chips, baked beans   
                         --  strawberry trifle & cream
Thurs     16      Sausage pasta pesto, mixed vegetables   
                         --  pineapple & ice cream
Thurs     23      Ham salad  --  gateau & cream
Thurs     30      Fish, chips, side salad  --  fruit flan &

Trampolines thrill children

AS PART of our programme for sight-impaired children and young people in Croydon, we held a trampoline event at a special centre which can work with children who not only have sight loss but also other complex needs.
The children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and, as before, their parents found it so useful, chatting to each other and comparing notes on how best to bring up their sons and daughters with little or no sight.

Eye Spy . . .


**  Become an archer!

BLIND and visually impaired people can enjoy the traditional sport of archery with standard bows and arrows, aided by special equipment such as a ‘tactile sight’ and foot-locator to help them line up with the target, and a sighted assistant known as a ‘spotter’ to keep score.
Beginners should join one of the several clubs which provide training courses in techniques and safety, costing between £40 and £60 for four-to-six sessions.
There are opportunities for more experienced archers to enter competitions by obtaining a ‘classification to compete’ form from British Blind Sport.  Contact

**  Portable note recorders

IF you need a small talking note-recorder, suitable for shopping lists, phone numbers or short messages, there are two version from Cobolt Systems at £27.50 each, including postage.
Both are easy to use, with spoken instructions and built-in loud speakers.  A single button is pressed to record, stop, and play back.  Messages are selected with up and down buttons, and can be repeated or deleted separately.
The recorders are pocket-sized and each comes with a carry pouch and two AAA batteries.  Model A can hold up to 30 messages of up to 30 seconds duration.  Model B holds up to three messages up to five minutes long.
Order from Cobolt Systems on 01493 700172 or by email at

**  No spills, no slips matting

TO AVOID spilling cups on trays or workshops, or knocking over ornaments, there is a type of non-slip matting called Dycem which hold such items firmly in place.
It comes in different colours and shapes, and is also available on a roll to cut to size.  You can buy it from the RNIB.
Lifting a glass or plate from the mat is as easy as from any other surface  -  there is no resistance.  And the matting is fully washable in warm, soapy water.
Sample prices are £4.50 for a shaped cup holder . . . £7.99 for a round mat . . . £9.95 for a small oblong mat . . . and £11.95 for a roll.
To order, contact the RNIB on 0303 123 9999 or you can email at

**  Try Tacti-Mark

HAVE you heard of Tacti-Mark?  It is a liquid for making tactile labels or marks with coloured, raised dots, lines or shapes. 
It can be used on clean, dry surfaces, for example to indicate settings on the controls of a cooker or washing machine, on clothing, paper, and most plastics.
Available in two colours, black or fluorescent orange, it is non-toxic and is supplied in a bottle with a fine nozzle.  It is easy to apply, but needs to dry overnight.
The cost is £3.74 per bottle, excluding VAT.  The RNIB sells it, and can give advice on other labelling products.  Call 0303 123 9999; email

It’s quiz time  - so

 how good are you?

WE have carefully selected 13 questions just for you.  Don’t be superstitious, they are not very difficult.  Honestly.  As usual the answers are given below.  But, no cheating, see how many you can answer first.
   1    When is St Swithin’s Day?
   2    According to the nursery rhyme, how many
         blackbirds were baked in a pie?
   3    Which old British coin was worth 21 shillings?
   4    Where in London would you find the Statue of Eros?
   5    How long is the Channel Tunnel  -  31 miles, 49
         miles, or 77 miles?
   6    What name is given to the wedding anniversary
         celebrated after ten years?
   7    Which was the first film in the “Carry On” series of
   8    Who did the American actress Grace Kelly marry in
   9    What is meant by ‘LOL’ in internet chat or text-
 10    Which of the seven dwarves in Snow White did not
         have a beard?
 11    True or false:  Iceland does not have an army.
 12    What can you catch but never throw?
 13    Of which country was Hamlet a prince?
The answers
1  July 15   2  Four and twenty   3  A guinea   4  Piccadilly Circus   5  31 miles   6  Tin   7  Carry On Sergeant  
8  Prince Rainier of Monaco   9  Laugh(ing) Out Loud
10  Dopey   11  True   12  A cold   13  Denmark  

 That’s Entertainment


Festival time

THE BIG event in town this month is Ambition Festival, a four-day mix of indoor and outdoor performances and installations in the heart of Croydon.  It’s quite something, with almost 200 performances listed.
     One of the highlights, stretching over two days, will be the 29th International Playwriting Festival, once of the Warehouse Theatre, Croydon, now at Fairfield Halls.  It is a performance weekend on Saturday and Sunday, July 25 and 26, at 5pm and 7pm each day.    
     It will feature the best plays selected from the competition, as well as prize-winning plays from Italy and Cyprus, and the BRIT School in Selhurst. 
   There is also an interview with a celebrity playwright on stage.
     Tickets are £6.50 per programme, or £11.50 for a day ticket.
A NEW PLAY, The Barred, is about a man wrongly imprisoned, and performed by a company who have all been through the criminal justice system.  This is at the Ashcroft Theatre at 5.30pm on Thursday, July 23.  Tickets £6.50.
ALL TYPES of music will be featured in this festival, from rock ‘n’ roll and speakeasy jazz (modern style) to Asian sounds and blues-rockers from Mali.  And Joanna Zubrycka (“Miss God”) who’s described as an exquisite Polish singer, will be at Fairfield on Sunday afternoon, July 26, with a group of musicians, comedians and performance artists.
     It is a Polish Arts in London special, starting at 4.30pm.  Tickets are £6.50.
More on next page . . .

A likely story

DID YOU hear how Joe Pasquale, his twin brother Raynard, and the Dalai Lama opened a chip shop in Skegness called “Batter Me, I’m Yours!” but, due to an accident with a pickled egg, the Lama pulled out and opened a rival chip shop called “Dalai’s Deep Sea Sausage”? 
     It led to a surf-and-turf war . . . or so Joe would have you believe.  The funny man is heading back this way, for the Ashcroft Theatre on Sunday, July 26, at 7.30pm, when he will no doubt tell you more.  Tickets: £18.50.
YOU HAVE another chance to hear some of the talented performers chosen from this year’s Croydon Performing Arts Festival, which attracted several hundred entries.  Some of them will play at the Lunchtime Concert at Fairfield on Tuesday, July 28, at 1.05pm.  Tickets: £5.
Other lunchtime concerts on Tuesdays this month:
     Bromley Youth Chamber Orchestra of 40 young string players perform works by Vaughan Williams, Handel, Vivaldi and Holst, on July 7.
     Helen Yorke narrates Chopin’s life story and plays some of his solo piano works on July 14.
     Salora – Jazz with a Twist! with their own arrangements of standards and contemporary hits, this quartet features vocalist Sarah Skinner, on July 21.
     All lunchtime concerts start at 1.05pm, tickets £5.
FOR SOMETHING entirely different, the Festival of Model Tramways will be held at the Arnhem Gallery, Fairfield Halls, on Saturday, July 18, from 10am-5pm.  Tickets £8.
Fairfield box office: 020 8688 9291

Four treats

Yusuf Osman previews the London scene
THIS IS my selection of some audio-described treats:
“The Red Lion” at Dorphman Theatre, National Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 9PX, on Friday, July 24, at 8pm, and Saturday, July 25, at 3pm.  Touch tour at 1.30pm.
   A young player touched with brilliance arrives from nowhere at a small-time, non-league football.  An ambitious manager determines to make him his own, and the old soul of the club still have dreams of glory.
   Box office: 020 7452 3000.  Tickets: £15.  
“Hang”, at the Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London SW1 8AS, on Saturday, July 11, at 2.30pm.  Touch tour at 1pm.
   A shattering new play about an unspeakable decision.
   Box office: 020 7565 5000.  Tickets £12.
“The Invisible”, at Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, London W12 8LJ, on Saturday, August 1, at 2.30pm.  Touch tour at 1.30pm.
   The Bush Theatre has commissioned the award-winning playwright Rebecca Lenkiewicz to tell the stories of “The Invisible” – ordinary people fighting for their right to justice.
   Box office: 020 87430 5050.  Tickets £10-£15.
“The Trial”, at the Young Vic, 66 The Cut, London SE1 8LZ, on Saturday, August 1, at 2.30.  Touch tour tbc.
   Rory Kinnear stars in this classic, timeless tale of ordinary terror.
   Box office: 020 7922 2922.  Tickets: £10-£35. 

Open-air treat

ONE OF the most popular of plays will be performed by a leading Croydon drama group in the open air on four days this month.
The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde, will be at Wandle Park, Croydon, near the Wandle Park tram stop, on Wednesday to Saturday, July 15-18, at 7.30pm, with a Saturday matinèe at 2.30pm.
It is by CODA, the popular Croydon Opera and Drama Association.  Tickets are £10, concessions £9, from 07858 879 019.

What a cap-ital idea!

      Be smart  -  wear one of the new Croydon Vision
      baseball caps.  They carry our logo and are in our
      colour.  With its peak it offers a good guard against
      cataracts and glaucoma.
      The cap is only £7.  But please place your order first 
      by calling the office.
  Age UK
      THE next meeting of Croydon Age UK at Bedford
      Hall will not be held until September.

Croydon Voluntary Association for the Blind is a Registered Charity Number 200482, 72-74 Wellesley Road, Croydon, CR0 2AR